So many things have to go right to win a State Championship. You need to be healthy, confident and it doesn’t hurt when you have the best day of your career. Such was the case for Junior Andrew Barlow as he got the State meet off to a great start for the Coyotes with a personal best vault of 16′ and his first State Championship. Andrew’s progression of nearly 2′ each year makes you wonder if the State meet record of 17′ 3″ set by Pat Manson in 1986, might come under fire next year.
Senior Ben Beauchamp placed 16th in the high jump. While not quite the result Ben was looking for, his 6′ 3″ jump earlier in the season is the new school standard at Monarch. Ben was named BoCo Preps Basketball Player of the Year this year and is off to Black Hills State to try and take his game to the next level.
Next on the track was Senior sprinter Julian Dulaney for the first of his two events, the 100 Meter Dash prelim. Julian got out of the blocks well and posted the 6th fastest time. He advanced to the finals where he would ultimately finish in 8th place to earn a spot on the podium. His 200 Meter Dash didn’t quite go as he had hoped, finishing 13th in the prelims. At last check, Julian had narrowed his college choice down to two. It will be fun to see how Julian progresses with his running career.
For Kaitlyn Benner, the 3200 Meter Run would be the first of three events for her at State. The University of Colorado bound Senior set some lofty goals coming into the season and there was no reason to believe that her goal of a running sub 11:00 wasn’t within her grasp. Kaitlyn would save her best for last and leave it all on the track to finish 5th. She had no idea what her time was as she stood with her hands on her knees on the track…her reaction when she looked up to the scoreboard and saw 10:58.83 was priceless! Kaitlyn would also compete in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay and the 1600 Meter Run where she placed 11th, a mere two seconds off the podium. Kaitlyn has been a model of consistency for the Coyotes throughout her career. Two trips to Nike Nationals, three State team titles and two first team all-state selections. It’s exciting that we get to see her running for the Buffaloes next year. That said…her ever present smile will be missed around these parts!
Senior Ashley Litoff closed out her career at Monarch with a 16th place finish in the 3200 Meter Run. Ashley played a significant role in Monarch’s three consecutive State cross country titles earning first team all-state two times. She will continue her running career in Memphis at Rhoades College next year.
Freshman Holly Bent got her first taste of the State track meet. Already a member of a State Champion cross country team and an incredible run at Nike Nationals, it was no surprise that Holly would pick up where she left off as she placed 12th in the 3200 Meter Run and 15th in the 1600 Meter Run. After an outstanding freshman year, the future looks very bright for Holly!
Next on the track was Junior Tyger Roch. The 3200 Meter Run was the first of his three races and he ran strong, finishing less than a second from his personal best as he finished in 10th place. In the 1600 Meter Run, Tyger placed 12th and ran very close to his personal best in that race as well. Tyger also ran a leg in the 4 X 800 Meter Relay. This season was the first that Tyger ran healthy and we got a glimpse of what he is capable of.
The girls 4 X 800 Meter Relay team of Kaitlyn Benner, Claire Green, Elissa Mann and Karina Mann had high hopes coming into this season. They had placed 2nd in each of the previous two seasons and hoped to stand atop the podium this year…but it wasn’t to be. The girls from Fort Collins ran a strong race and once again, the MoHi girls would finish 2nd. Would the outcome have been different if Junior Karina Mann hadn’t come down with a late season bout of Walking Pneumonia…we will never know. Congratulations to the FoCo girls!
Next on the track was the boys 4 X 800 Meter Relay team of Isaac Green, Tyger Roch, Parker Sitton and Chay Weaver. The guys also came in with high hopes as they were seeded third and had shattered the school record earlier in the season. Unfortunately, the guys hopes were dashed on the first lap when Parker Sitton got tangled up with three other runners and went down hard on the track. Parker, headed to run for Arkansas State next year, gathered himself and finished his leg…but the damage had been done. The guys finished 20 seconds off their season best in 14th place.
Day two saw Claire Green take the track in the 800 Meter Run, the second of her four events at State. Claire came in as the second seed and full of confidence having lowered her own school record on two separate occasions. Lap 1 found Claire right where she wanted to be, but it didn’t end up that way as she finished 9th. Claire would also run the 1600 Meter Run and finish in 14th place. Neither of Claire’s races at State were representative of the body of work she has completed at MoHi. Three times Claire has earned first team all-state in cross country, three times won the State team title and twice run at Nike Nationals. Claire also holds the distinction of being the only Coyote to have run in four events at State…all four years! Claire will run at the University of Arizona next season…we wish her nothing but the best!
Junior Elissa Mann also hit the track in the 800 Meter Run, one of her four events. Having put an injury laden 2013 season behind her, she too was full of confidence after running her fastest time of the season in the opening leg of the 4 X 800. Seeded 6th, she had hopes for a top five finish before settling for a spot on the podium in 7th place. Elissa also qualified for State in the 400 Meter Dash, but was scratched from the race due to the short recovery time before the 4 X 800. Elissa lowered her own school record in the 400 twice during the season. It was a strong comeback season for Elissa!
Freshman Isaac Green lined up for 800 Meter Run, the second of his three events as the fifth seed. Isaac ran a solid tactical race and put himself in position to kick down the final stretch and finished 3rd…in the process setting a new personal best. Isaac had a similar race in the 1600 Meter Run, possibly timing his kick a little late, Isaac still finished in 4th and again set a new personal best. Isaac was the fastest freshman in the state in cross country…that he was able to race so well with the top upperclassmen in track was truly impressive!
Chay Weaver also toed the line in the 1600 Meter Run. Chay came into the race seeded 12th and finished 13th. A late season bout of Strep Throat may or may not have played a role two weeks prior to State. Chay will be running for Seattle University next year.
The girls 4 X 400 Meter Relay team of Claire Green, Elissa Mann, Karina Mann and Sophomore Nathalie Tessier placed 13th. The race marked Nathalie’s first competition at the Colorado State meet. Nathalie’s family is moving to California this summer. Hopefully, Nathalie picks up where she left off…best of luck!
Senior Bryan Su placed 8th in the 100 Meter Dash Special Olympic race. Congratulations to Bryan, his effort earned him a medal and place up on the podium!
In the team standings, the girls finished in 18th place with 17 points. Both Claire Green and Kaitlyn Benner accounted for points and will be missed on next year’s team. Alison Stouffer, Georgia Reis and Karina Mann barely missed out on qualifying for events this year. All three will be looking to advance next year.
The boys placed placed 12th with 25 points. Julian Dulaney graduates as the only senior to garner points at this year’s State meet. The guys seem poised to gain on their position next season. Ben Hogan was off to a great start this season before an ill-fated accident with a tree. Both Luke Arnsberger and Logan Burgess showed promise in the Long and Triple Jumps. All three could be poised for big things next year.